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Wiggling, Writhing, S-s-s-s-s-salmonella

Written by PETA | August 2, 2010
Corn Snake

Fancy a bout of the runs, severe fever, septicemia, or perhaps meningitis? Then head on out and get yourself a snake or other reptile as a pet. According to a recent report, hundreds of people were exposed to salmonella bacteria from dead mice they were feeding to their reptiles—but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. For years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been sounding the alarm about contact with reptiles because every year tens of thousands of people in the U.S. contract salmonellosis—a serious bug that can land you in the hospital … or worse—as a result of direct or indirect contact with reptiles. In the last year, there have been two other reptile-related salmonella outbreaks, one tied to the sale of pet turtles and the other to the sale of African dwarf frogs.

Should pet stores give away a free hospital stay with each reptile they sell? You tell us. Meanwhile, please help stop the wobbly stomach blues (not to mention the blues that every snake and lizard who’s stuck in an aquarium must experience) by adding your support to the proposal by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to ban the sale of nine species of snake.

Written by Jennifer O’Connor

Commenting is closed.
  • Nicole says:

    RESEARCH BEFORE YOU COMMENT.  Snakes will get agoraphobic if they are allowed too much space…that’s why in the wild they spend the majority of their time in dens or hiding.

    You know what else carries salmonella??  Just about any animal.  Again, if people actually washed their hands, it would be fine.  It’s not the snake’s fault.  Btw, they need to eat mice.  I’m a vegetarian, but snakes CANNOT survive on plant material.  Sorry, it’s just not possible, and they need mice.  Nadine, killing the mouse by swinging him/her into a tabletop is not cruel at all.  It kills the mouse within an instant, snake people aren’t mean.

    Having a snake in an aquarium that is too big really stresses them out, and they won’t even eat.  Most snakes like exploring and tolerate handling.  They can make really good pets.

  • Rev. Meg Schramm says:

    I went to the Orange County Fair last Sunday. After I watched two “Happy California Cows” get sucked dry by a milking machine and listening to the lies told by the representative of the dairy industry about how every body needs milk except baby cows who are put on milk replacer I wandered over to the kids activity tent where they had reptiles on display crammed into glass fronted display cages. In one of the bottom cages there was a monitor lizard desparately trying to bang his way through the glass and escape as well as two dozen or so snakes lizards and other incarcerated creatures putting up with all the kids and so called adults crowding their space as best as they could. It turned out you could hire this reptile company to perform at birthday parties. No thank you. I left the tent and went to the midway to win some stuffed animals.

  • yolibeth says:

    I once had a turtle. My folks rescued it by his work. But it seemed to be upset so we set it free i was so sad and i still think of him. His name was COCO. But anyways i sure wouldnt like to see any innocent reptile or animal in cages or behind glass. I think stores should not sell animals of any kind they should live in the wild. There real homes!

  • Adele says:

    Danielle Adams I don’t think that articles such as this seek to condemn your adoption of a snake from a rescue centre. You are obviously not contributing to the industry and are merely doing what you can for an animal that has been made a victim of it. Very few of us here probably need the incentive of being reminded feeding pets can carry some health risks as ideologically I believe the majority of us at Peta are opposed to the pet industry in all of its forms. Wish all campaigning in such areas the best of luck.

  • peteS says:

    i used to keep snakes until my girlfriend one day pointed out to me that they need to stretch out and move something they really can’t do in most aquariums. In Boston a reptile expert told me that you can feed canned dog food to most live feeder snakes if you warm it and wiggle it on a stick but I had to ask myself what I was thinking deciding to take a wild animal of any sort and put him in a glass box. pretty odd when i thought about it.

  • rachel says:

    you guys come on read the post it is so short. it is banning the SALE of SOME SNAKES not taking them out of your home or blocking adoption from rescues. i used to have lots of snakes i bought them from pet stores before i knew any better. if they werent for sale i wouldnt have bought them. it would be better for the snakes not to be in a pet store in the first place.

  • Helen says:

    Eeewwwww…I wouldn’t have ever dreamed of owningkeeping a reptile anyway before and these are so many more reasons why not to!

  • Liz Evans says:

    If people used their common sense and WASHED THEIR HANDS after handling the animals food or handling the animal themselves they wouldn’t GET salmonella or other such nasties that these beautiful creatures may carry? Why make the animals out to be the bad guys? It’s the humans not using common sense that’s the problem?!

  • S.M. says:

    What would happen to the people that already have had their snake for years and love and take good care of them? I don’t want any new snakes in captivity but the ones that are already properly homed need to be taken into consideration… and then underground breeders could be a problem too..

  • Nadine Badalaty says:

    1 if you were to have a pet snake they should be eating their mice freshly killed. The killing of the mouse is itself barbaric…usually beaten to death by slamming against a hard surface. 2 snakes should not be caged and kept for anyone’s profit and for anyone’s entertainment. These are exotics and should be left alone to breed.

  • Danielle Adams says:

    I have a reptile who I rescued from a reptile rescue much like the ones that are set up for dogs and cats. Are you implying that these animals don’t deserve loving homes just because they aren’t soft and fluffy? It isn’t my baby’s fault that he was bred and sold in a petshop and sold to someone who didn’t care for him!